Reworked plans for student flats in Cambridge “much improved”

Planning designs for student housing in an area of Cambridge considered an eyesore, have been approved, following a re-think. The redesigned plans, which are for building comprising four storeys, with 98 bedrooms plus a coffee shop, were described as being significantly better than the previous version and have now been given approval recommendation.

The next stage in the planned development is for the scheme to be sanctioned by local development chiefs. The location for the student housing will be at the junction between Huntingdon Road and Histon road, formerly the site of a Texaco garage, and presently that of a car wash. In 2009 architects voted the site one of the ugliest parts of Cambridge and it is hoped that the development will improve the image of the area.

Among the changes made is a redesigned roof which will reduce the building’s height. Additional alterations include a simplification of the window design and that of the exterior stone cladding. Toby Williams, planning officer for the development, stated that he felt that they had addressed the problems with the plans:

“The materials are refined, the window positioning and proportions regularised and improved and roofscape amended to more closely relate to the character of the area.”

However there are still concerns being expressed about the plans. The issue of whether the housing should be available to students not studying at either Anglia Ruskin or Cambridge University remains to be resolved – as does local opposition, on traffic and noise grounds.

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